Authority warns parents against child gambling

Parents should take more responsibility to ensure their children under 21 years of age do not participate in TV Bingo.

The Gambling Control Authority Manager (licensing regulation and compliance), Auimatagi Karanita Ah Kuoi, said this, in response to increasing public concerns at the policing of the law that prohibits underage children from participating in gambling. 

“Gambling by minors is prohibited under Sect 8 (1) (2) of the Act. A person under the age of 21 is prohibited from gambling. Beyond that it is a parenting issue that is out of our control,” she said.

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According to Auimatagi, the Sinaupualofa Foundation Trust is authorised by the Samoan Gambling Control Authority to operate TV Bingo on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 – 11.00 pm as a fund raising activity for their Trust.

“The Sinaupualofa Foundation Trust is licensed by our office pursuant to Sect 4 (3)(1)(b) of the Gaming Control Act 2017 (Act) on 10th September 2018. Gambling by minors is prohibited under Sect 8 (1) (2) of the Act.

“A person under the age of 21 is prohibited from gambling. The above age restriction relates to any form of gambling and gaming i.e. casino, totalisator, bingo, bonus, raffles, sales promotion scheme, gaming equipment supplier and gaming by telecommunication service providers.

“Broadcasting TV Bingo at the above time enables parents and guardians to ensure that minors are not watching and playing and should by then be in bed. Beyond that it is a parenting issue that is out of our control,” she added.

Sinaupualofa Foundation Trust, Kuinimary Tamati, said the purpose of TV Bingo is to assure everyone that mothers and adults are at home to watch the draw and keep an eye on the children. 

“Instead of going out to the Bingo sites, they can play on the T.V. and we have taken every precautionary measure to assure that TV Bingo is not for kids under the age of 21. If you see on TV, we have banners outlining that message and we also announce that prior and during the program,” she said.

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